What? Strategic planning means analysing your past and present situation, and thinking ahead to develop a project or an organisation. In other words: where you are now, where you want to be, and how you are going to get there.
Why? Not only to secure the survival of your organisation or project, but also to ensure it reaches its full potential.
Strategic planning is a process, by the end of which you should have a tangible plan - be it a project plan, a development plan, a strategic plan or a business plan. It may address anything from a specific project or the start-up of a new organisation, to the next 5 years of an established organisation.
The plan should be your tool by which you:
- confirm/clarify and justify your overall purpose and aims (what you want to achieve and why; how you know there is a need)
- analyse your current situation and weigh up your options (internal and external analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
- set out what services/activities you are going to provide/undertake (your objectives), over a specific time period - broadly, your strategy for achieving your aims
- communicate your strategy to stakeholders (funders, users, partners)
- implement and monitor your strategy (for example allowing you to measure progress against set targets or goals)
Strategic planning should be directly linked (and vice-versa) with fundraising, budgeting and monitoring and evaluation. Contact us for advice on any of the above.